OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) - A great dane named Mia is recovering at her Oceanside home, after playing the role of hero in an encounter with a rattlesnake.
Two weeks ago, during her lunch break, Megan Montano stopped back at her home off Vandegrift Boulevard and let out her dogs onto the backyard patio.
Her chihuahua, Rebel, raced to the gate and Montano knelt down to put on his leash.
“I felt Mia coming in behind me, to my side,” said Montano.
At that moment, 3-year-old Mia suddenly ran toward her left side.
“Then all of a sudden, kind of felt her bump into my side, and rear back, while making a noise. I threw my head to the left and I saw the snake,” said Montano.
A mere foot from Montano was a foot-and-a-half long rattlesnake.
“I think she thought it was an intruder and was going to probably push it out,” said Montano. “I should have been bit. I don't know how I wasn't bit.”
Mia wasn't so lucky.
"She kept trying to hit her mouth with her paw. Instantly, I knew it had bit her,” said Montano.
As Mia's mouth swelled up, Montano rushed her to the vet. She received one dose of antivenin, before being released that night. Four days ago, additional symptoms sent her back to the vet, but Mia is now doing much better.
“I would say Mia is definitely my hero dog,” said Montano.
A few months into rattlesnake season, Montano is hoping to prevent the need for future heroics.
“They now wait inside until I clear patio, before I let them out,” said Montano.
She has a message for other pet owners.
“Be aware of your surroundings, and just be smart. Have your head on a swivel at all times,” said Montano.
The rattlesnake, believed to be a juvenile, was found the day after the bite, then captured and relocated.